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Homepage Archive - July 2020 (page 3)

These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search RF Cafe" box at the top of every page. About RF Cafe.

Homepage Archive Pages

2020:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2019:
  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2018:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2017:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2016:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2015:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2014:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2013:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2012:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13


See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | of the July 2020 homepage archives.
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Tuesday 21

For the Record - How Small Can They Get?

For the Record, July 1958 Radio & Television News - RF Cafe"It is hard for one to believe that there is room for further reduction in size and weight from what we are accustomed to today." So wrote Radio & TV News magazine editor William Stocklin in 1958. It was a decade after invention of the transistor (1948), and the first integrated circuit had not yet been developed (Robert Noyce, 1959), but even so it seems fairly short-sighted for a major electronics magazine editor. While being amazed at the shirt-pocket-size transistorized radio and hearing aid, he still found hope for the future of miniaturization of vacuum tubes, such as diodes recently released by General Electric that would "fit into the shell of a standard type of transistor." Sure, it is easy in hindsight to pick on someone's contemporaneous view of an emerging industry...

Atenlab R-2 CATR OTA Anechoic Chamber Video

Atenlab R2 CATR OTA Measurement System Cabinet - RF CafeAtenlab Corporation has produced a video of the R−2 Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) Over-the-Air (OTA) Measurement System. It is the smallest, lightest, and very mobile type self-contained cabinet enclosure that easily fits in a typical laboratory or office-size room. MIMO, antenna near-field measurement, EMI, EMS, 3G, 4G, 5G, WiFi, and other modern wireless standards are easily tested. The R−2 is suitable for measuring small antennas and devices with integrated antennas. It covers a frequency range of 10 to 80 GHz. A DUT positioner moves in 0.1° increments. Chamber exterior size is 1.8 x 0.8 x 1.8 m. RF absorber lines the interior. Atenlab's Maxwell and Maxwell Lite software automates measurement and presentation of collected data in 2D or 3D...

Shiny Rainbows of Nanotech Chocolate

Shiny Rainbows of Nanotech Chocolate - RF Cafe"Chocolate is the latest material to be colorized by nanotechnology instead of chemical dyes. While so many of us are working at home during the [Wuhan Flu] pandemic, we do worry that serendipitous hallway conversations aren't happening. Last year, before the pandemic, it was one of those conversations that led researchers at ETH Zurich to develop a way of making chocolates shimmer with color - without any coloring agents or other additives. The project, announced in December, involves what the scientists call 'structural color.' The team indicated that it creates colors in a way similar to what a chameleon does - that is, using the structure of its skin to scatter a particular wavelength of light..."

RCA Graphechon Tube

RCA Graphechon Tube ad in the July 8, 1950 Saturday Evening Post - RF CafeEver heard of the revolutionary Graphechon Tube, by RCA? Neither had I, until I saw it mentioned in an ad for RCA televisions in a 1950 edition of The Saturday Evening Post. My curiosity was piqued enough to do some research. First, here is the text of the ad: "Scientists at RCA Laboratories work with split-seconds of time too infinitesimal for most of us to imagine. Their new electron tube, the Graphechon, makes it possible. For instance, in atomic research, a burst of nuclear energy may flare up and vanish in as little as a hundred-millionth of a second. The Graphechon tube oscillograph, taking the pattern of this burst from an electronic circuit, "remembers" what happened - and re-creates it in a slow motion image which can last for a minute and a half. Scientists may then observe the pattern...

ConductRF LSA Performance Flexible RF Cables to 18 GHz

ConductRF LSA Performance Flexible RF Cables to 18 GHz - RF CafeConductRF LSA series of low loss, performance flexible RF cable assemblies, provide microwave system designers with a versatile solution for most applications. Here we offer customers a solution for 0.086" diameter cable that facilitates greater flexibility and handling or, 0.141" diameter that exploits the same great performance but with almost half the loss. Connector options include SMA, Type-N, TNC & SMP that provide excellent VSWR between DC and 18 GHz, also solutions for MCX & SMB are available in a wide array of configurations. These assemblies are built using our own double shielded, FEP jacketed cable, that was developed specifically for performance solutions. With shielding effectiveness exceeding 90 dB through 18 GHz...

Axiom Test Equipment: Rent, Buy, Trade & Repair

Axiom Test Equipment - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment allows you to rent or buy test equipment, repair test equipment, or sell or trade test equipment. They are committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. Axiom offers customers several practical, efficient, and cost effective solutions for their projects' TE needs and is committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. For anyone seeking a way to offload surplus or obsolete equipment, they offer a trade-in program or they will buy the equipment from you. Some vintage items are available fully calibrated. Please check out Axiom Test Equipment today!

Monday 20

Raytheon Manufacturing Company

Raytheon Manufacturing Company, July 1955 Radio & Television News - RF CafeRaytheon is another of the stalwart early American electronics and technology manufacturing company. It began operations in Cambridge, Massachusettes in 1922 under the name of the American Appliance Company. The name was changed to Raytheon in 1925 to reflect its growing vacuum tube usiness. Did you know the name Raytheon means "light from the gods?" In this case, the light refers to the orange glow from the tube heater filiment. If you have ever had the privilige of seeing in a darkened room vacuum tubes glowing inside a vintage radio, you will understand the relationship to a godly sight. Not too many years ago, there were still a few companies like Tesslor manufacturing new tube radios, but now you'll have to go to eBay or similar venues to find used radios. The prices are not too bad. ...but I digress. This 2-page advertrisement in a 1955 issue of Radio & Television News magazine pitched a division...

Many Thanks to Atenlab for Their Continued Support!

Atenlab microwave components - RF CafeAtenlab has been operating in Taiwan for more than a decade, and has sold and installed hundreds chambers around the world. Holistic, affordable Over-the-Air (OTA) measurement systems perform comprehensive measurement and test in a controlled environment. Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) with one-touch operation supports multiple systems - 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G - and major instrument brands. [M]ulti-probe OTA measurement systems offer reduced time measurements over single-probe systems.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Pied Piper of Hamelin, June 1929 QST - RF CafeThis might be my oldest copy of QST, being Vol. XIII, Number 6. Up until a few decades ago, authors commonly appropriated themes and characters from familiar fairy tales and fables for use in articles of instructional nature. Some publications even used comic book style formats for teaching to beginners. The term 'wabbulation' (aka "wobbulation" and "wobulation") is spoken to Uncle Jimmy by the fabled Piper, and I have to admit not being familiar with the term. According to W2PA's story, 1920s era QST technical editor Robert Kruse coined the word to describe inadvertent modulation of the carrier frequency during CW or phone operation. Per the Wikipedia entry, "wobulation is Hewlett-Packard's term for a form of interlacing designed for use with fixed pixel displays...

Modelithics Joins GlobalFoundries RFwave Partner Program

Modelithics Joins GLOBALFOUNDRIES RFwave Partner Program - RF CafeModelithics, the leader in high-frequency simulation models and precision RF, microwave, and mmWave measurement services, is pleased to announce it is now a member of the GLOBALFOUNDRIES® (GF®) RFwaveTM Partner Program. The partnership between GF and Modelithics will enable mutual clients to accelerate the launch of new products, based on accurate testing results and the ready availability of Modelithics to assist GF and its clients in modeling activities. GF's RFwave program is an ecosystem of partners that provide unique mmWave test and characterization capabilities along with design services, IP, and EDA solutions that will enable designers to build highly optimized RF solutions for a range of wireless applications such as Internet-of-Things (IoT), wireless connectivity, 5G, and automotive radar...

Plasmonic Chip for Ultrafast Data Transmission Using Light

Plasmonic Chip for Ultrafast Data Transmission Using Light - RF Cafe"Researchers from ETH Zurich have achieved what scientists have been attempting to do for some 20 years: in their laboratory work as part of European Horizon 2020 research projects, they have manufactured a chip on which fast electronic signals can be converted directly into ultrafast light signals - with practically no loss of signal quality. This represents a significant breakthrough in terms of the efficiency of optical communication infrastructures that use light to transmit data, such as fiber optic networks. In cities like Zurich, these fiber optic networks are already being used to deliver high-speed internet, digital telephony, TV, and network-based video or audio services (streaming). Today's optical networks achieve data transmission rates in the region of gigabits per second..."

Centric RF: Attenuators, Adapters, Cable Assemblies, Power Dividers

Centric RF microwave components - RF CafeCentric RF is a company offering from stock various RF and Microwave coaxial components, including attenuators, adapters, cable assemblies, terminations, power dividers, and more. We believe in offering high performance parts from stock at a reasonable cost. Frequency ranges of 0-110 GHz at power levels from 0.5-500 watts are available off the shelf. Order today, ship today! Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please visit Centric RF today.

Sunday 19

Electrical Engineering Crossword Puzzle for July 19th

Electrical Engineering Crossword Puzzle for July 19, 2020 - RF CafeJuly 19th's custom Electrical Engineering crossword puzzle contains some words particular to radio, radar, analog and digital circuits, components, and other tech-themed words and clues. Each week for two decades I have created a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words (1,000s of them) from my custom-created lexicon related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. You will never find among the words names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort. You might, however, find someone or something in the otherwise excluded list directly related to this puzzle's technology theme, such as Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. Avid cruciverbalists amongst us: the gauntlet has been thrown down.

Friday 17

Radio Data Sheet Zenith Model 8H032

Radio Data Sheet Zenith Models 8H032, 8H033, 8H050, 8H052, 8H061, January 1947 Radio-Craft - RF CafeHere is the Radio Data Sheet for Zenith radio models 8H032, 8H033, 8H050, 8H052, 8H061 as published in a 1947 issue of Radio-Craft magazine. Some of the electronics magazines used to include this type of high level documentation so that hobbyists and even service shops with budgets too small to afford cabinets full of SAMS data packets could work on the radios. Most of the radio manufacturers would not even sell factory-prepared documentation to anyone who was not an "authorized" service center. The RadioMuseum website has nice examples of restored vesions of both the Zenith 8H032 and the Zenith 8H034 tabletop radios. The electronics are similar but the chassis designs are completely different. They sport three bands: the 540-1620 kHz AM band, the pre-WWII 42-48.5 MHz FM band, and the current 88-108 MHz FM band...

Skynet Labs NI LabView Development

Skynet Labs NI LabView Development - RF CafeSam recently wrote to let me know about his company Skynet Labs' services for developing custom NI LabVIEW test software applications. Based in Unionville, Connecticut, Skynet Labs specializes in product configuration, automated product test and manufacturing, implementation of data acquisition hardware and test software with NI LabVIEW and Visual Basic. They will develop custom signal processing and analysis software with MATLAB, Python for scientific applications including electronics and biomedical industry. Certified LabVIEW Architect, Certified LabVIEW Developer, Certified TestStand Developers on staff with more than 15 years of experience. Contact Sam today to learn how Skynet Labs can help your project!

Post Your Engineer & Technician Job Openings on RF Cafe for Free

Engineering Job Board - RF CafeRF Cafe's raison d'être is and always has been to provide useful, quality content for engineers, technicians, engineering managers, students, and hobbyists. Part of that mission is offering to post applicable job openings. HR department employees and/or managers of hiring companies are welcome to submit opportunities for posting at no charge. 3rd party recruiters and temp agencies are not included so as to assure a high quality of listings. Please read through the easy procedure to benefit from RF Cafe's high quality visitors...

Microwave Amplifier Circuit Using Flexible Wooden Film

Microwave Amplifier Circuit Using Flexible Wooden Film - RF Cafe"In the not-too-distant future, flexible electronics will open the door to new products like foldable phones, tablets that can be rolled, paper-thin [get it? paper - wood] displays and wearable sensors that monitor health data. Developing these new flexible / bendy products means using materials like new plastics and thin films to replace the rigid circuit boards and bulky electronic components that currently occupy the interiors of cell phones and other gadgets. New research by a University of Wisconsin-Madison engineer leverages a surprising and inexpensive substance - wood - to make the flexible microwave circuits that can power modern communications. In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications..."

Carl & Jerry: Electronic Detective

Carl & Jerry: Electronic Detective, February 1958 Popular Electronics - RF CafeLong before their college days at Parvoo U., our two amateur electronics sleuthing buddies were on the job tracking down and trapping bad guys by using their combined knowledge of circuits and physics. In this episode, Carl and Jerry are tasked with helping a hobby store owner stop a rash of thefts that always seems to occur during a busy time right after school lets out for the day. Their first inclination was to devise a system like the big department stores were installing that used passive tags on items that would trigger an indicator when passed through the detector at the exit door. That was in 1958 when the anti-theft tags were first being utilized. Unfortunately, the system they were able to build was not sensitive or selective enough, so they came up with a different scheme...

Build a Web App for Your Test System

Build a Web App for Your Test System - RF CafeNational Instruments (NI) will present a webinar on July 29th entitled, "Build a Web App for Your Test System in 30 Minutes." Learn how to build a modern, flexible web application for your LabVIEW 2014+ or C# test system in 30 minutes. Join us for a step-by-step walkthrough on how to create a WebVI for your existing LabVIEW application, and get it published on the web. All you need to create WebVIs are your LabVIEW skills and the LabVIEW NXG Web Module, no web development knowledge required. WebVIs run entirely in the browser, don't need extra installs, and adapt to any screen size.

Copper Mountain Technologies: Vector Network Analyzers

Copper Mountain TechnologiesCopper Mountain Technologies develops innovative and robust RF test and measurement solutions for engineers all over the world. Copper Mountain's extensive line of unique form factor Vector Network Analyzers include an RF measurement module and a software application which runs on any Windows PC, laptop or tablet, connecting to the measurement hardware via USB interface. The result is a lower cost, faster, more effective test process that fits into the modern workspace in lab, production, field and secure testing environments.

Thursday 16

RF Cascade Workbook 2018

RF Cascade Workbook 2018 Is Available Now! - RF CafeRF Cascade Workbook 2018 is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you have never used a spreadsheet quite like this. It is a full-featured RF system cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features...

Photonic Microwave Generation Using On-Chip Optical Frequency Combs

Photonic Microwave Generation Using On-Chip Optical Frequency Combs - RF Cafe"In our information society, the synthesis, distribution, and processing of radio and microwave signals happen ubiquitously in wireless networks, telecommunications, and radars. The current tendency is to use carriers in higher frequency bands, especially with looming bandwidth bottlenecks due to demands for 5G and the Internet of Things. Microwave photonics, a combination of microwave engineering and optoelectronics, might offer a solution. A key building block of microwave photonics is optical frequency combs, which provide hundreds of equidistant and mutually coherent laser lines. They are ultra short optical pulses emitted with a stable repetition rate that corresponds precisely to the frequency spacing of comb lines. The photodetection of the pulses produces a microwave carrier..."

Urgent Need !!!

Cree CMPA0060025F - RF CafeAn engineer friend wrote saying he is in immediate need of 50 pieces of the Cree CMPA0060025F, 25 W, 20-6000 MHz, GaN MMIC power amplifier. If you can supply any quantity, please contact me at kirtrfc@aol.com and let me know. Time is of the essence. Thank you very much!

The Backward Diode

The Backward Diode, November 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeNot everyone who visits RF Cafe is a seasoned engineer or technician. Some are just getting into electronics as part of a career path and/or hobby endeavor and appreciate the availability of entry-level information. As an oft-quoted sage-type person famously said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." Accordingly, here is a short article explaining the basic physics and application of the of backward diode, which is akin to a Zener diode and tunnel diode in that it is meant to operate in the reverse bias region. National Semiconductor, Texas Instruments (TI), and Raytheon were the manufacturers in 1958 when this article appeared in Radio−Electronics magazine. National Semiconductor was swallowed up by Texas instruments in 2011...

Worldwide 5G Frequency Bands

Worldwide 5G Frequency Bands - RF CafeThe everythingRF website has a short article on current 5G spectrum allocation around the world. Frequencies are added and/or removed occasionally depending on who controls the government agencies and which lobbyists have enough money to influence said officials. The chart was created in 2018 and promises to be updated as needed. Hopefully, the author is watching the industry and making adjustments as needed.

MECA Electronics: Passive RF & Microwave Components

MECA Electronics

Since 1961, MECA Electronics has designed and manufactured an extensive line of RF & microwave components for in-building, satellite, radar, radio, telemetry, mobile radio, aviation & ATC. Attenuators, directional & hybrid couplers, isolators & circulators, power dividers & combiners, loads, DC blocks, bias-Ts and adapters & cables. MECA has long been the 'backbone' of high performance wired and air-interfaced networks such as in-building applications, satellite communications, radar, radio communications, telemetry applications, mobile radio, aviation & air traffic communications.

Wednesday 15

Bell Telephone Laboratories: Relay Contact Inspection

Bell Telephone Laboratories: Relay Contact Inspection, July 1955 Radio & Television News - RF CafeBack in the day, Bell Telephone Labs' name was synonymous with cutting edge technology and brainiac scientists and engineers, similar to IBM (International Business Machines), Boeing, Chevrolet, Westinghouse, and Hewlett Packard, amongst others. Bell Labs often ran full-page promotions in electronics magazines like this one in a 1955 issue of Radio & Television News that spotlighted a method they developed for inspecting relay contacts without having to remove it from the circuit. Prior to solid state switches, electromechanical relays did the circuit routing for the millions of calls crossing the United States (prior to that, ladies sitting in front of switchboards used cables and plugs to route calls manually). Those relays opened and closed thousands of times each day, so they were subject to a lot of wear and tear. Bell Telephone invested a lot of time and money into designing high quality relays that would stand up to the usage...

Simulation Microscope Examines Transistors of Future

Simulation Microscope Examines Transistors of Future - RF Cafe"Since the discovery of graphene, two-dimensional materials have been the focus of materials research. Among other things, they could be used to build tiny, high-performance transistors. Researchers at ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne have now simulated and evaluated one hundred possible materials for this purpose and discovered 13 promising candidates. With the increasing miniaturization of electronic components, researchers are struggling with undesirable side effects: In the case of nanometer-scale transistors made of conventional materials such as silicon, quantum effects occur that impair their functionality. One of these quantum effects, for example, is additional leakage currents, i.e. currents that flow 'astray' and not via the conductor provided between the source and drain contacts. It is therefore believed that Moore's scaling law..."

USAF Radar Shop Hall of Fame Inductee

Click here to visit the USAF Patches website, where there is an extensive collection of service patches.Please welcome the addition of Scott Eichfeld to the list of honored U.S. Air Force Radar Shop service members. Scott was stationed at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, in the 3th Combat Communications Group (3CCG) from 1981 through 1992, assigned to the TPN−19 mobile airport surveillance radar (ASR) and precision approach radar (PAR) system. He spent some time TDY helping to write a technical order (TO) at the 5th MOB (5CCG) at Robins AFB in Georgia. When he arrived at the 5CCG, I had been there a couple years working on the decades old MPN−14 predecessor to the TPN−19. The MPN−14's RF circuits were mostly vacuum tube based whereas the TPN−19 was almost completely solid state.

Virtual Ham Expo 2020

QSO Today's Virtual Ham Expo 2020 - RF CafeThanks to the Wuhan Virus, QSO Today's Ham Expo 2020 will be an online-only event via your laptop, tablet, and smartphone. It will be held on the weekend of August 8th and 9th. "Participate in this ground breaking, virtual international amateur radio expo. Packed with world renowned speakers, exhibitors, and special conference rooms built on a virtual reality platform." More than 70 internationally renown are scheduled. Register by July 24th to receive early bird prize incentives. Register by July 24th for free attendance!

The Mathematics of Gaussian Probability Distribution

The Mathematics of Gaussian Probability Distribution - RF CafeEveryone reading the is familiar with the "bell curve," and most have been exposed to the mathematics of it. Standard deviations, normal distribution, mean, median, variance, etc., are seen often in technical writings. John Dunn has a good intro (or refresher) on the EDN website entitled, "The Mathematics of Gaussian Probability Distribution." It begins: "All sorts of physical processes in this analog world exhibit some degree of randomness. Think of noise, for example. Many noisy processes are described by Gaussian probability distributions. We should take a look at the mathematics of that. Consider the equation of the 'bell curve' for a Gaussian probability distribution by starting with a very simple equation..."

What Does Your Daily Commute Cost You?

What Does Your Daily Commute Cost You? - RF Cafe SmorgasbordHow far do you commute each day for the privilege of doing your part to push back the frontiers of technical ignorance and to boldly go where no engineer - or technician - has gone before. Do you know what the cost equates for you each year? This handy-dandy infographic lays out some gruesome numbers. Those with a weak stomach probably should pass on viewing this one. Here's a hint at what you will see: See that big $795 in the thumbnail image? That's the average cost per year for commuting -- per mile! Yessiree, if you live just 10 miles from work, you're losing nearly $8,000 per year, depending on you automobile type, on gas, tires, maintenance, devaluation, and loss of your personal time (which is valuable, after all). Back in the early 1990s I drove about 45 miles each way to Comsat, which took about 65 minutes due to miserable traffic, which is 130 minutes round-trip, or 2 hours and 10 minutes (about the run time of an average movie) each day. Figuring two weeks vacation and 10 holidays, that leave 48 weeks x 5 days/week = 240 days per year of commuting. 240 days x 130 minutes = 31,200 minutes = 520 hours per year. That's a fourth of a man-year (2,080 hours) on the road. It was a great job, but combined with working 60-70 hours per week...

ConductRF: Precision & Standard Grade RF Cable Assemblies

ConductRF coaxial cables & connectors - RF CafeConductRF is continually innovating and developing new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest TESTeCON RF Test Cables for labs. ConductRF makes production and test coax cable assemblies for amplitude and phased matched VNA applications as well as standard & precision RF connectors. Over 1,000 solutions for low PIM in-building to choose from in the iBwave component library. They also provide custom coax solutions for applications where some standard just won't do. A partnership with Newark assures fast, reliable access. Please visit ConductRF today to see how they can help your project! 

   
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    BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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